50 episodes

I've had some amazing adventures in over a decade as a Harry Potter fan: reading and researching the books, visiting the sets of the film, enjoying Wizard Rock concerts, speaking at conventions, traveling throughout Britain discovering Harry Potter's world, and even writing two books. Over those years I've especially loved sharing my enthusiasm for Potter with fans at libraries, bookstores, and conventions. That's what this podcast is all about as well. I'll talk about canon sources (those wonderful Daily Prophet newsletters, for example), discuss the way the books work together to tell one glorious tale, and share some of my experiences wandering through Britain in search of Harry Potter's magical world. So come along as we wander through the magical world of the Harry Potter stories. ~~ Steve Vander Ark

The HP Lexicon Podcas‪t‬ The Harry Potter Lexicon

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    • 4.7 • 35 Ratings

I've had some amazing adventures in over a decade as a Harry Potter fan: reading and researching the books, visiting the sets of the film, enjoying Wizard Rock concerts, speaking at conventions, traveling throughout Britain discovering Harry Potter's world, and even writing two books. Over those years I've especially loved sharing my enthusiasm for Potter with fans at libraries, bookstores, and conventions. That's what this podcast is all about as well. I'll talk about canon sources (those wonderful Daily Prophet newsletters, for example), discuss the way the books work together to tell one glorious tale, and share some of my experiences wandering through Britain in search of Harry Potter's magical world. So come along as we wander through the magical world of the Harry Potter stories. ~~ Steve Vander Ark

    Half-Blood Prince 7-24 Canon Celebration

    Half-Blood Prince 7-24 Canon Celebration

    Summer is over and it is time to return to Hogwarts. Harry has lessons with Professor Dumbledore to look forward to. He becomes surprisingly talented in Potions class and works hard as the new Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. But what is his classmate Draco Malfoy actually up to?

    Ready or not, here we go!



    Podcasts:

    Fifty Years Ago by Steve VanderArk

    Pince and Prince by hpboy13

    Episode 25: The Horcrux Conundrum by Steve VanderArk and Nick Moline

    Horcrux Deaths by Steve VanderArk

    Reader’s Guides:

    These guides were originally written in 2005 and 2006. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the books, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 7

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 8

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 9

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 10

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 11

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 12

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 13

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 14

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 15

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 16

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 17

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 18

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 19

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 20

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    • 6 min
    Order of the Phoenix 1-9 Canon Celebration

    Order of the Phoenix 1-9 Canon Celebration

    Everything turns a bit darker in Book Five. Lord Voldemort has returned. Dementors show up in unexpected places. And Harry is unhappy, even when he has re-joined his friends before the end of the summer.

    Ready to find out why? Let’s go!

    Podcasts:

    Encore Presentation: OP 1: Drought by Steve VanderArk

    OP 2: Kneazles by Steve VanderArk

    OP 3: Why Not Side-Along Apparition? by Steve VanderArk

    OP 4: Discovering Grimmauld Place by Steve VanderArk

    OP 5: I Don’t Think I Like This Book by Steve VanderArk

    OP 6: Drawing Room Delights by Steve VanderArk

    OP 7: The Ministry of Magic by Steve VanderArk

    OP 8: Sweet Victory Forshadowed by Steve VanderArk

    OP 9: What is a “Flint?” by Steve VanderArk

    OP 9: Lucius? I Remember Him by Steve VanderArk

    The Twins’ O.W.L.s by hpboy13

    Number Twelve by Selena Gallagher

    Portraits by Eileen Jones

    The Photograph and the Boggart by Abby Koop

    Seeing is Believing by Eileen Jones

    Episode 3: “There’s an Elf Head Hanging Outside the Window” by Steve VanderArk

    Episode 10: “This Gap Is Where It All Changed” by Steve VanderArk

    Reader’s Guides:

    These guides were originally written in March of 2002. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the first book, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

    Reader’s Guide to C...

    • 2 min
    Goblet of Fire 1-10 Canon Celebration

    Goblet of Fire 1-10 Canon Celebration

    We now start Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a book with several exciting events for Harry and his friends to experience. We go back to the Weasleys and attend an international event where a disaster takes place. What more can happen?

    If you’re ready to find out – on we go!

    Podcasts:

    Canon Thoughts: Goblet of Fire by Steve VanderArk

    Fifty Years Ago by Steve VanderArk

    The Weasleys and Ottery St Catchpole by Steve VanderArk

    GF 1: Mysteries and Surprises by Susan

    GF 2: Looking Cool by Susan

    GF 3: Writing by Hand by Susan

    GF 4: A Lot of Long Sentences by Susan

    GF 5: Looking Back and Forward by Susan

    GF 6: Foreshadowing – Lovegoods and Apparition by Susan

    Wizard Currency by Selena Gallagher

    The Changing Quidditch World Cup Schedule by Nick Moline

    Everything you’ve wanted to know about Socks by Morag Traynor

    Reader’s Guides:

    These guides were originally written in March of 2002. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the first book, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 1

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 2

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 3

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 4

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 5

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 6

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 7...

    • 5 min
    The History of the History of the Wizarding World

    The History of the History of the Wizarding World

    In the early 2000s, Harry Potter fans debated the possible range of dates for the saga. Small clues like the reference to a PlayStation in book four were discussed in detail. — Since the PlayStation wasn’t available until December 1994 in Japan and September 1995 in Europe, some argued that the events of Goblet of Fire couldn’t have happened until after that time. Some toyed with the idea that Uncle Vernon might have gotten his hands on a Japanese version while on a business trip, but that would still make book four have to happen no earlier than 1995. Others argued that Rowling’s world doesn’t have to match the real world — and clearly doesn’t in a lot of other ways — so the date of the PlayStation shouldn’t be a determining factor when dating events in the Potter universe. And the debate raged. You can find some of the essays written during that time here on the Lexicon. 

    Far more compelling was the fact that Nearly Headless Nick celebrated his 500th Deathday in October of the second book. The cake at the party listed the date of his actual death as being the 31st of October in 1492, which would date the first half of the second book to 1992. I held that opinion, especially since that would mean that the first books take place during the actual years Rowling was writing them in the early 1990s.

    The debate went on for years and it wasn’t until the release of the Black Family Tree in 2006 that Rowling finally stated in canon that the year of Draco’s birth, and therefore also Harry’s, was 1980. This settled the arguments once and for all. Harry’s school years therefore were from 1991 through 1998. This was verified in the novels themselves, which many fans consider to be the highest form of canon, when the dates on the gravestone for Lily and James Potter were revealed in the seventh book. 

    Before then, Rowling had been particularly cagey about coming right out and giving specific years for things. Even when it would have been easy to slip in a date, she chose not to do so. In Order of the Phoenix, for example, the prophecy that Neville, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna discovered in the Department of Mysteries was labeled with the date when it was spoken by Trelawney. However, instead of stating it outright, Rowling describes it this way: “In spidery writing was written a date of some sixteen years previously…” (OP34).

    By the time that fifth book was published in 2003, the Lexicon had already included a very detailed timeline of the Wizarding World. I had compiled it over the course of two years, from 2001 to 2003. The amount of information available to be included was enormous, but most of it wasn’t from the Harry Potter novels. Oh no, there were several other amazingly detailed sources of historical information available back then, all written by Rowling herself. 

    Back in 2001, Rowling published two little books for charity which we now refer to as the Schoolbooks. They were Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. These two books were filled with Rowling’s quirky humor. They were also filled with historical information about the Wizarding World. 

    In 2003, Electronic Arts released a video game based on Chamber of Secrets which featured a series of Famous Wizard cards which players could find and collect. Rowling wrote the information for those cards and once again, the text was loaded with puns on the names and clever humor in the descriptions. And, like the Schoolbooks, the cards were chock-full of historical information about the Wizarding World. 

    When the Schoolbooks were published, I immediately began taking notes and making lists. My notes evolved quickly into a detailed timeline, starting in ancient times and running to the present. This timeline caught the eye of Warner Bros who borrowed it as the official timeline to be included as p

    • 7 min
    Canon Thoughts: Book Three

    Canon Thoughts: Book Three

    Welcome to the third book in the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban! Many fans consider this to be their favorite Harry Potter novel. Harry is another year older, another face-off with Voldemort under his belt. What could be in store for him and his friends this year?

    Let’s crack the new adventure open and find out!

    Podcasts:

    Canon Thoughts: Book Three by Steve VanderArk

    Chocolate by Selena Gallagher

    Pets at Hogwarts by Ashmita Shanthakumar

    Reader’s Guides:



    These guides were originally written in March of 2002. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the first book, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 1

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 2

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 3

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 4

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 5

    Calendars

    Fitting the books into the real-life calendars isn’t easy! In fact, it’s impossible. But that didn’t stop us:

    Day by day calendar of events in the book

    Essays

    Where Does the Name “Knight Bus” Come From? by Morag Traynor and Susan

    Harry’s Things by Morag Traynor

    Interesting Artwork

    We have hundreds and hundreds of pieces of fan artwork in our collection. Some subjects get a lot of depictions — Diagon Alley is a favorite topic, for example, and, well, of course it is! But there are a few pieces which illustrate more unusual moments in the text. Here are some examples:



    Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be

    caught no less than forty-seven times in various disguises. (PA1)



    Harry had never met a vampire, but he had seen pictures of them

    in his Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, and Black, with his waxy white skin, looked just like one. (PA3)



    Percy pompously greeting Harry – and Fred & George going over the top imitating him (PA4)

    Artwork Challenge

    • 5 min
    Canon Thoughts: Chamber of Secrets

    Canon Thoughts: Chamber of Secrets

    Welcome to the fifth installment of our celebration series!

    We’ve been warned not to return to Hogwarts, met some new allies and foes, and accidentally broken one of the most fundamental rules of wizarding society. What a way to start the school year!

    Ready to have some fun exploring what’s next? Here we go!

    Podcasts:

    CS 6: Howlers, Mandrakes, and Muggleborns by Eileen Jones

    CS 7: Mudbloods and Murmurs by Eileen Jones

    CS 8: Ghosts by Eileen Jones

    CS 9: Filch by Eileen Jones

    CS 10: Harry, Draco and Quidditch by Eileen Jones

    CS 11: Loyalty by Eileen Jones

    CS 12: In Dumbledore’s Office by Eileen Jones

    Reader’s Guides:

    These guides were originally written in March of 2002. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the first book, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 6

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 7

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 8

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 9

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 10

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 11

    Reader’s Guide to Chapter 12

    Calendars

    Fitting the first book into the real-life calendars isn’t easy! In fact, it’s impossible. But that didn’t stop us:

    Day by day calendar of events in the book

    Essays

    Troubles with Time by Steve VanderArk

    Hogwarts Ghosts by Mike Gray

    How Do Duels Work? by Hugo Costa Paes

    Interesting Artwork

    We have hundreds and hundreds of pieces of fan artwork in our collection. Some subjects get a lot of depictions — Diagon Alley is a favorite topic, for example, and, well, of course it is!

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

Cubone&NatutrainerLannisterfan ,

Concerning Petunia Evans Dursley

1 Albus Dumbledore’s letter to Petunia Dursley was written by Albus Dumbledore on November 1st 1981 to Petunia Dursley. The letter detailed the wards that would be created if she agreed to raise Harry.

So does that mean she knew about Mrs Figg? Is that why she was essentially a babysitter for the Dursleys when they left Harry behind? She also would have known that after Harry reached adulthood the wards would go away. Could this also be why she was less strict about Harry going to Hogwarts? If they didn’t like Harry wouldn’t Hogwarts be a god send? They could be rid of him for most of the year.
2 Albus Dumbledore’s Howler to Petunia Dursley was written by Albus Dumbledore to Petunia Dursley on August 2nd 1995, to remind her “of the pact she had sealed by taking Harry Potter in”.

Dumbledore really thought the Howler was going to be effective in that moment? I doubt that the letter and promise was the last thing in her mind. She was only focusing on her Little Dudley.

MessNGretz ,

Such a great podcast

I'm a long-time listener and supporter of the HP Lexicon and have always loved the podcast...so glad that Steve Vander Ark continues to keep the Harry Potter world alive and relevant!

xthevixenx ,

The new HP Lexicon site

I have just finished watching episode 19. I found it thoroughly amazing and extremely informative. You are all doing wonderful work. I have loved the lexicon site and your podcasts for many years now and am enjoying exploring this different format. Thank you so much for all your dedication, attention to detail and hard work!!! Please continue!!!

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